I managed to get a good few good weeks of use with the HONOR X8b to do this review.
In case you didn’t know, this smartphone is likely aimed at those who are keen not to burn a hole in their pockets, while still wanting to get a decent smartphone.
It’s predecessor is the HONOR X8a and this phone doesn’t fall far from that price.
Design & body
Specs: 161.05mm x 74mm x 6.78mm, 166g, side mounted fingerprint.
The smartphone is available in two colours, namely Glamorous Green and Titanium Silver.
I obtained the Glamorous Green which to me looks really good.
The rear has these nice diamond like patterns, and most importantly it doesn’t allow any fingerprints or marks when in use. There’s a huge square camera bump which contains a four symetrical circles, and on the right side of the smartphone, there’s two buttons.
The longer button works as a up and down button, while the shorter one activates Google Assistant, is a fingerprint scanner and is also the power button.
The shorter button works well as a fingerprint scanner as well as a Google Assistant button, but turning off the phone does come with slight struggle at first, as I only realized I had to press the power buttn for over 5 seconds to prompt the Power Off option.
That said, it is important to note one must ignore the Google Assistant prompt when trying to turn of or restart the smartphone.
In terms of body design, the candybar X8b is has flat edges on all sides, and a screen that’s also flat on all edges.
Despite that, it’s still comfortable to hold because it’s just 6.88mm thick and weighs just 166g.
I explained in detail about the design in my first impression post, which you can read in the link below.
Screen & Display
Specs: 6.7″ Risk-Free Dimming AMOLED Display, TUV Rheinland Low Blue Light Certification, 2412 x 1080 resolution, 90Hz refresh rate, 20.1:9 aspect ratio, 16.77 million colours
The screen of the X8b is a 6.7-inch Eye Comfort AMOLED Display with HONOR’s Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) technology, giving 3240Hz flikers.
This is not as high as what you get on the HONOR 90, but much higher than the recently released HONOR X9b. The higher the PWM, the better protection for the eyes.
The AMOLED display of the 6.7-inch screen provides a 93.7 per cent screen-to-body ratio, bigger than the HONOR X9b.
Compared to the X8a, the X8b has better eye protection specifications, higher refresh rate and aspect ratio.
When watching videos and youtube, the screen produces vivid colours with Youtube pplayable in High Definition (HD).
Such screen capability is akin to flagship smartphones like the HONOR Magic5 Pro with the HONOR X8b presenting a brighter display than the former (seen above).
Speaking of brightness, the screen comes with a HBM brightness of 1200nits which means it can display vibrant colours and nuanced hues which will look really nice.
Aside from that, I also noticed that the brightness of the phone adapts to various environment, able to switch itself accordingly.
For gaming, the screen’s 90Hz is felt when playing games like COD, with every touch being very responsive.
Budget friendly smartphones like this X8b will usually enjoy only one sided speakers, and that’s perfectly what happened here.
There is only one speakers for the smarphone which is located on the rear.
The sound is loud and clear nonetheless although when gaming, it can be muffled by the hand.
There’s no 3.5mm audio jack, but HONOR did supply an adaptor to accompany the 3.5mm wired earphones.
Processor, RAM & Storage
Specs: 16 (8+8)GB RAM, 512GB storage space, Qualcomm Snapdragon 680
One of the major highlights of the HONOR X8b is the amount of storage it provides.
At 512GB storage capacity, it is one of the biggest storage capacities for a smartphone within its class.
Such size of storage space is usually what I’d expect in computers and high end devices, so having it in a budget friendly smartphone like the X8b is really unexpected.
On top of that, it allows up to 16GB of RAM which is also ‘gaming computer’ like, through the HONOR RAM turbo technology which add on addition 8GB of RAM (on top of the 8GB RAM) if the system detects of such need.
Under the hood, there’s also the Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor which is an upgrade from the previous MediaTek Helio G88 which graced the HONOR X8a.
To me, it’s speedy enough for multi-tasking and I had no complaints when gaming. It was all smooth and speedy.
Specs: MagicOS 7.2
To support the hardware, HONOR equipped the X8b with it’s own MagicOS 7.2 which is based on Android 13.
The software is polished and works as it should.
I really can’t say much about the software since it just works
Specs: 50MP front camera, 108MP + 5PM + 2MP triple camera
The camera of the HONOR X8b is a triple camera set-up with the main camera being a 108MP ultra-clear main camera, which is supported by a 5MP wide and depth camera and a 2MP macro camera.
The main camera is equipped with ISOCELL HM6 mobile image sensor that supports 108 million pixels with pixel size of 0.6um x 0.64um, hence giving more detail in every image.
For photography, there’s up to 2x optical zoom with up to 8x digital zoom. One thing I really like about the camera is how quick the shutter reacts enabling images to be captured despite the presence of movement.
During good day light, images are really nice, thanks to the 108MP lens.
Images taken below are taken during a gloomy day according to 0.6x, 1x, and 2x optical zooms respectively.
As you can observe, the photos are sharp, and manages to capture moving objects clearly (like cars) without any problem.
Indoors, images represented a brighter take of the real environment which to me is a positive thing. Colours really pop out and look really vivid. In fact, I do feel that indoor photography is really good with this X8b.
Here’s a few photos I took.
At night, you can expect to capture images like these.
Depending on the lighting of the building, and how much it is pointing to you, the photos can turn out differently.
Selfies during daylight present a very clear image, with nice bokeh effects as you can see below.
When it’s picth dark, selfies turn out impressively good in my opinion as you can see below.
I think food photos also turn out interesting when captured using the X8b as they do look delicious and present the right amount of detail in every shot as seen below.
Macro shots were also not bad as you can see below.
Videography using the HONOR X8b is satisfactory. The lack of image stabiliasation is noticeable but can’t be blamed considering the price.
Anyway, here’s some videos taken during different situations using the smartphone.
Specs: 4500mAh battery with 35W HONOR SuperCharge
The battery life of the HONOR X8b is good in general.
On standby, I could keep the phone with 60% even after 24 hours, with about another 25 hours left in power saving mode.
In performance mode, the battery sustainibilility drops slightly, but a days use is still possible based on my check.
I dropped this phone a few times and it didn’t break or crack. However, I didn’t test it to extreme lengths like what I did with the HONOR X9b, so I really can’t say if it could be used to break wood or cardboard.
Anyway, during the two times I dropped the phone, I used the silicone case and it didn’t have any damages.
Also, this phone doesn’t have any official IP rating, so I don’t think you should go soaking it in water, although there is a rubber band placed around the SIM tray which could give it some splash resistant.
HONOR X8b review verdict & availability
The HONOR X8b is priced at just RM999.
It has one of the best designs for a budget oriented smartphone, and improves from its predecessor, the X8a.
The massive storage space within this device is something a lot of smartphone manufacturers out there need apply, and the camera is good particularly when using it for selfies and when using the 108MP main camera.
The phone will be available from 22 December 2023, with FREE HONOR Choice Earbuds X5 Lite worth RM139 while stocks last.